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B.C. government announces proposed changes to ICBC rates

Last Updated Aug 9, 2018 at 10:13 pm PDT

Attorney General David Eby speaks about changes coming to ICBC during a press conference in the press gallery at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., earlier this year. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)

Inexperienced and high-risk drivers would pay more under the proposed changes

The new model would also focus on the driver instead of the car owner in at-fault crashes

Government says changes are revenue-neutral but would make the system 'fairer'

BRITISH COLUMBIA (NEWS 1130) – Major changes are being proposed for ICBC as the crown corporation, once described by the Attorney General as a “dumpster fire,” struggles to get out of the red.

One of the changes proposed by David Eby includes moving to a driver-based model, which means at-fault crashed would follow the drivers instead of the owner of the vehicle.

It’s unclear, however, how this move could impact companies who rely on young drivers.

ICBC is also looking at reviewing a customer’s at-fault crashes in the last 10 years starting on March 1, of last year.

A “one-crash” forgiveness for drivers is also being proposed, as long as the at-fault driver has 20 years of driving experience and haven’t caused any other crashes in the last decade.

Other changes include increasing insurance discounts for experienced drivers who have up to 40-years of experience behind the wheel. That’s up from the current nine-year limit.

RELATED: A ‘dumpster fire,’ AG addresses ICBC losses, as bigger rate hike becomes likely

Inexperienced drivers would also see a change to their premiums. Eby says inexperienced drivers pay less than the risk they represent. So even though they will continue to see a discount, the amount will be reduced.

Premiums will continue to be calculated with each policy starting at a base premium of $1,000. This figure could increase or increase depending on different factors.

ICBC premium calculation (ICBC)

He adds these changes would be revenue neutral for ICBC but hopes it will lower costs.

“It depends on any given driver what the actual impact is going to be when they go to renew their insurance, but regardless of what the outcome of the rate hearing is, two-thirds of drivers will be better off under this system than they would be otherwise if we left things as they were,” he said.

ICBC is currently facing a deficit of $1.3 billion.

The proposed changes must be approved by the BC Utilities Commission. If approved, they would take effect September 2019.

-With files from Marcella Bernardo and Sonia Aslam